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This is a discussion on Thoughts? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-09-2010, 05:43 PM

I'm watching an english lesson with two little girls. One little girl is on a pony, the other on a full sized horse. During this lesson, the trainer is asking the little girl on the horse to get him to work his back and come into contact by "rattling the reins" and then when he comes into contact to release. Obviously this is wrong, but then I began thinking of the mechanics of her riding a full sized horse. This little girl is maybe 8 years old and I could probably pick her up with one arm. She isn't nearly muscled enough, nor could she probably ever be muscled enough at her age to ride correctly with her seat and legs to get this horse to use his back and come into the frame correctly.

What are your thoughts, in the case of this little girl of using the "seesaw method?" Of little girls riding full sized horses when they are not physically capable of riding them correctly in general? The little girl on the pony is better matched with her pony (its hers, rather than riding a lesson horse) and I think she is a better rider than the other little girl. However they are still both learning the "seesaw" from this trainer. We do have another trainer at the barn who teaches correct riding and all of our advanced lessons, just as a side note.
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    03-09-2010, 05:49 PM
If the girl is giving the release at the right time it will work just the same as any other method.
    03-09-2010, 05:54 PM
Sometimes you just have to turn a blind eye, especially if it's not your horse or child.

Unless something is inherently dangerous for the horse, rider, or both, MYOB.

None of us are perfect, although for some reason a lot of folks want to think they have the greatest instructor, most wonderful horse, and are the best rider since George Morris got out of short pants.

In fact, considering some of the 'ZOMG MY TRAINER'S/BO'S/BM'S AN ASSHAT' threads, you'd think we had nothing but Olympic calibre riders and horses on this BB, which we know isn't anywhere near the truth.

Yeah, I'm cranky. I just get tired of people pointing fingers at everyone else, when maybe they should be pointing back at themselves.

'Before you wipe the mote out of your brother's eye, remove the plank from your own.'
    03-09-2010, 06:05 PM
I agree partially with Speed Racer. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do. Personally, I hate seesawing the reins, because eventually the horse can be ruined from it. I've seen many a mouth deadened from seesawing. The fact that these girls are learning it so young just makes it worse.

Is there a reason the girl was on the horse? The barn could have just not had an available pony (being used or had been ridden too much) or the trainer could have been bringing the kid down a notch. I've taught and seen a lot of little kids who think they are Gods and sometimes putting them on a big (but safe) horse is the way to show them they still need a lot of work. Or the trainers a moron. Whichever one it is, I'm sorry you had to witness it.
    03-09-2010, 06:23 PM
I spent a lot of time teaching in riding schools on school horses; and I can say that there's nothing wrong with a 8 yo riding a full sized horse in a lesson. It is much easier to find a safe, tolerant, willing full sized or cob sized lesson horse; finding even a large pony that won't act out when bored or being ridden badly is a much taller order. Most riding school's core group of beginner safe school horses are in the 14.2 - 15.2 range; good school ponies are scarce. And yes, this does make it hard to teach certain things; you have to wait until the riders are more capable and move them onto a more size appropriate and sensitive mount.

The only thing that's rarer that a tolerant school pony is a school horse that's capable of moving through his back and coming up into the contact correctly with a beginner or intermediate, so I think the instructor you were observing is first and foremost an optimist.
    03-09-2010, 06:30 PM
The ONLY pony at this facility is the BO's daughters pony (the little girl on said pony is the BO's daughter) other than that we have 4 school horses. We only have a few girls who need the lesson horses, all of the other students own their horses.

While I don't plan on saying anything to anyone, what they want to do with their money is their business, it just got me thinking about the whole point of taking riding lessons, which are of course learning how to ride correctly, and how at some point somewhere, that little girl might have a meltdown when her advanced trainer mauls her for seesawing the reins. I figured I would get everyones opinions on the matter.
    03-09-2010, 06:53 PM
Okay, it also sounds like inappropriate instruction that will have to be remedied if the child continues to ride and wants to advance. "Rattling the reins" is just an odd instruction, period.

But - an 8 year old on a school horse being asked to bring a horse onto contact and then release? I'm still going with optimistic.
    03-09-2010, 06:57 PM
^^LOL good point
    03-09-2010, 07:51 PM
I was taught the same thing when I used to take riding lessons, seesaw the reins, when the horse gives, release. When I bought my horse, I didnt do the seesaw thing, instead I took a few lessons from a grand prix dressage rider, and found seesaw is balogna. Haha

I think the seesaw thing is common in riding schools bc it makes horses drop their heads easily, and that seeems to make kids happy
    03-09-2010, 08:01 PM
Originally Posted by heyycutter    
i was taught the same thing when I used to take riding lessons, seesaw the reins, when the horse gives, release. When I bought my horse, I didnt do the seesaw thing, instead I took a few lessons from a grand prix dressage rider, and found seesaw is balogna. Haha

I think the seesaw thing is common in riding schools bc it makes horses drop their heads easily, and that seeems to make kids happy
Ditto. As soon as we got out place and I moved my pony here, I quit seesawing. I didn't even do it when the instructor told me too...... lol :P
Stubborn me :P

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